Unfortunately the magical run of Long Island's Noah Rubin came to an end today in the quarterfinals of the 2012 French Open Juniors, as Noah was defeated 4-6, 1-6 by the number five seed, Filip Peliwo of Canada.
The playing conditions were far from ideal, as it was cold and drizzly throughout the match. The match started evenly with a high level of play from both sides and was 4-4 in the first set, but an aggressive Peliwo broke Noah to go up 5-4 and served out the set. Peliwo kept the momentum in the second set getting a couple breaks before finishing off the match.
Noah's longtime Coach Lawrence Kleger (director of the John McEnroe Tennis Academy) and Eric Rubin (father/coach) were both very proud of Noah's effort today even in defeat. Kleger said, "Although today wasn't Noah's best, he gave 100 percent effort throughout the match."
Eric Rubin added, "There was excellent, thoughtful play by both players. Noah kept fighting with every swing of his racket, despite tough deep and angled play by Peliwo."
While things didn't go Noah's way today, the future is obviously very bright. After the match, we spoke with Coach Kleger to get his perspective of how Noah did in his first French Open Juniors, and what he thought the future would bring for Noah as they continue to work together.
"For his first French Open, he did incredibly well," said Kleger. "Reaching the quarterfinals of the French Open Juniors speaks for itself, but what I was most proud of throughout the tournament was Noah's compete level ... just always giving everything that he had. Of all the kids who reached the quarterfinals, Noah was, by far, the youngest at 16-years-old, which is quite an accomplishment and bodes well for his future."
En route to the quarterfinals at Roland Garros, Noah knocked off two seeded players, including the number three player in the world, Liam Brody of Great Britain. In addition to being number three in singles, Brody and his doubles partner are the number one-ranked doubles team in the world. The win over Brody really solidified Noah's place near the top of the junior world, and showed how far he has come.
"When Noah defeated Brody, it was as a thrilling a moment as a coach that I've ever had," said Kleger. "Noah's court presence throughout was exceptional."
Noah will now return to New York and Kleger is obviously eager to get back to work with Noah and has already set the bar high telling the 16-year-old) jokingly, "Mats Wilander won the French Open main draw at 17, so we have a year to get to work." Noah will surely take that challenge on.
Eric Rubin summed up the experience of this week in France by saying, "It was an amazing inaugural Roland Garros for Noah." To which Kleger added, "Clearly, the sky is the limit for him."